Aspargus filled round cappellacci
© Denzil Green
Cappellacci are pasta dumplings, often described as stuffed pasta squares or rounds. They are large, so usually 5 or 6 is enough per person, given that they are usually used in a recipe with other food items such as radicchio, etc.
A typical filling is ricotta and spinach.
They are popular particularly in Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna.
To make them, pasta dough is rolled out into thin sheets, and cut into 7 1/2 cm (3 inch) squares or rounds. The dough pieces are then let rest 5 minutes. Next you turn the squares so that they appear diamond shaped in front of you. You put a small dollop of filling in the centre, mist them with water, fold them in half to make a triangle, then bring the end points together to form a pointy hat like a mitre. (Alternatively, they can be made as large rounds.) You let them rest another 5 minutes, then cook them in simmering water.
Alternatively, at this stage they can be frozen. To freeze, arrange them on a plate not touching each other, then freeze, then bag, then freeze for up to 1 month.
Cappellacci di ZuccaZucca is often translated as pumpkin, but in fact it is squash. The filling is squash, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, salt and parmesan; some fancy versions add walnuts.
The sauce served with them can be melted butter with sage it in, or a pork and tomato sauce.
Discount stories that say Cappellacci were inspired by a hat worn by Lucrezia Borgia.
Literature & Lore
Cappellacci literally means "(large) hats." A smaller version of Cappellacci exists, called "Cappelletti."
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"Artichokes are just plain annoying ... After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual 'food' out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking thirty or forty postage stamps. Have the shrimp cocktail instead."
-- Miss Piggy
-- Miss Piggy